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Foundationed Deep – Wolverine and the Thing

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This is the latest in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of pieces looking at particular odd/strange/interesting instances of retroactively connecting different comic book characters (for instance, Uncanny X-Men #268 retroactively established that Wolverine knew both Captain America and the Black Widow from World War II). Here is an archive of all of the past pieces.

Today is the second of a two-part look at some of Wolverine’s early espionage connections. The first one, Carol Danvers, is here.

In the aforementioned Carol Danvers edition, I explained how Chris Claremont introduced the idea that Wolverine and Carol Danvers had once worked with each other but then expanded it so that they were REALLY good friends in an issue of Marvel Fanfare. In that same exact story, Claremont gave us the first real meeting between Wolverine and the Thing (they presumably had briefly crossed paths together before this point during the Contest of Champions and that time that the Thing boxed the Champion for the fate of the world) and the Thing is unfamiliar with him…

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By the by, as a quick aside, Carol Danvers taught Wolverine how to play poker? For serious? What an odd decision by Claremont there.

So that was the case for the next decade and a half. They interacted with each other, including playing a number of poker games, but no talk was given to them knowing each other at all before Carol introduced Wolverine to the Thing.

That is, until 1998′s Wolverine Minus 1, that is!

In that issue, Larry Hama established that Grimm and Logan had met many years earlier…

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And in 2000, Hama even wrote a mini-series where they go on a secret mission together! And not just them, but, of course, Carol Danvers!

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I imagine that their past together has sort of gone into the realm of “things we just don’t talk about.” Especially since you’d figure it would have come up before Wolverine stabbed him in the face (the display piece).

If YOU have a sugggestion for a future edition of Foundationed Deep, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!

31 Comments

Considering the fact that the Defense Intelligence Agency is part of the Department of Defense, Logan’s comment in the last page doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense.

1.So, Ben Grimm came up with “Canucklehead?”

2. Yeah, Carol teaching Logan poker is really odd, seeing as how that means that Logan made it through WW2, etc., etc., without learning it.

3. Is that Tony Stark briefing Logan and Ben? If so, guess that that means that Tony is also part of Logan’s ever-expanding past.

They sure produced a lot of Wolverine comics through the years. I save myself a lot of expense by choosing to read none of it.

Incidentally, the “Puzzle Palace” is a slang term for the National Security Agency (NSA), not the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). NSA and DIA are separate agencies… BOTH of which are components of the Department of Defense. I guess Logan was just being confused and/or Canadian in this scene.

My god, what’s wrong with her eyes?

No. No no no no NO.

This kind of unnecessary retro-continuity always comes off forced, and for what, to serve one writer’s ego?

99% of the time I hate it. Roy Thomas and early James Robinson are the only ones IMHO who made it work.

Yeah, it’s amazing how they retconned Wolverine into the back story of pretty much every Marvel superhero. Though to my mind Peter Parker’s parents was maybe the most egregious case.

Considering that these retcons didn’t contradict or take away something important to any of the characters, I always just saw it as nice background that helps to reinforce the shared universe. (although Grimm coming up with “Canucklehead” is a bit cheesy) And in terms of Carol teaching Logan poker, they could easily be referring to the fact that she taught him how to *really* play, as opposed to just knowing the rules.

I keep hearing how Wolverine has been retconned into knowing everyone. I see what people are talking about now

buttler:”Yeah, it’s amazing how they retconned Wolverine into the back story of pretty much every Marvel superhero. Though to my mind Peter Parker’s parents was maybe the most egregious case.”

Gotta confess, I thought that Roger Stern made that one work. At the very least, it was better than Xavier knowing Logan in Vietnam…..

My immediate thought on reading the “Carol taught Logan poker” was that Logan had been hustling her and let her think she’d taught him the game.

Or they had both been hustling Ben and were still hiding just how much experience Logan really had.

Or even that poker wasn’t something that survived the various memory rewrites James Howlett had in becoming Logan/

For the poker reference, it could be that while Logan already knew how to play poker, Carol taught him to be good at it. Though the writer probably did mean that Carol just taught him how to play.

@dekko
On their own, retcons like these generally don’t take away from the characters. The problem is that they aren’t on their own. They are part of an ever growing shared universe. When accumulated, they start to weigh down history, turning it almost incestual.

One could also argue the Wolverine retcons do contradict history, as well. Thing meets Logan and they build at least a bit of a relationship over the years. Then a decade and a half later, we find that Logan met Ben Grimm in his pre-Thing days. Okay, it would be acceptable that Logan might not later recognize the Thing as the same Ben Grimm, particularly with Logan already mentioning memory issues(?). But Ben not remembering Logan is pushing things, as Logan does kind of stand out in memory. Then a couple of years later, we learn that Ben, Logan, and Carol all worked together in the past? (Similar for the Logan and Carol history expansion.)

wolverine this, wolverine that. for god sake folks, are there no other characters?

I’m sure someone’s said it before, but you could basically do years of this column with nothing but Wolverine.

“At the very least, it was better than Xavier knowing Logan in Vietnam…..”
And Kitty Pryde’s dad, Carmen Pryde, too. Don’t forget him. They were all in the same unit together.

I always liked the idea of Ben Grimm coining “Canucklehead.” It sounds like something he’d say, doesn’t it?

Wow. Wolverine met everyone prior to turning up with the X-Men with no memories, didn’t he?

To make it complete, someone should Retcon Logan into an episode of St. Elsewhere’s.

Sooner or later it’ll be revealed that Marvel’s Logan’s Run series was all about Wolverine. Somehow.

Travis Pelkie

June 16, 2014 at 2:50 am

Wait, it wasn’t?

Man, the art on that last page of the Hama miniseries is….ugh. Because when a hardass intelligence agent walks into a room full of soldiers, her first move is totally going to be posing like a swimsuit model.

I’m with Omar, I was gobsmacked by how “male gaze” that shot was. For Pete’s sake, women don’t DO that in the real world, particularly hardass professionals (outside of modeling, I suppose).

Come to think of it, I’d love to see Wolverine’s origin retconned so that Logan’s Run was his actual backstory. Though it’s not like the X-Men need yet another refugee from a dystopian alternate future. But it would be better than the Little Percy Poopenpantz… er, I mean James Howlett thing that’s become the current canon origin.

Does the timeline even make sense? That 2000 mini (and I believe Shadow Society, too) happens before Logan is grabbed by Weapon X. Logan’s adventures with Carol and Michael Rossi must happen after that, because in Claremont’s Uncanny he remembers them. So, did Carol never mention to him that she knew Logan before Weapon X? I think that tidbit would be really important for him because IIRC he didn’t remember anything at all from his pre-Weapon X life, and here’s the chick who used to work with him.

One of these days we’re going to get a story showing Logan hanging out with Norrin Radd on Zenn-La back in the days, I just know it :)

Norrin Radd? Heck, Wolverine was the one who went to Taa to warn Galan that the universe was ending.

On a related note, for a while I honestly assumed that the premise of the Wolverine Origins series was to retell the origins of everybody in the Marvel Universe, only this time showing how Wolverine was responsible for all of them happening at all.

No. No no no no NO.

This kind of unnecessary retro-continuity always comes off forced, and for what, to serve one writer’s ego?

99% of the time I hate it. Roy Thomas and early James Robinson are the only ones IMHO who made it work.

I was with you until you brought up Roy Thomas and James Robinson as exmaples of making this sort of thing work. They are among the most awful at it in my opinion.

Willie Everstop

June 17, 2014 at 12:22 pm

There’s your idea for a new Wolverine Origins series. Wolverine has chrono-telepathic memory flashback sessions with Rachel Summers revealing his hidden ties to the rest of the Marvel Universe. Logan is trying to find the memory-manipulating telepathic Weapon X agent who keeps making everyone else forget.

Things that Wolverine has secretly done:
Reed Richards hired him to sneak his friends onto a military test rocket.
Visited young Hank Pym’s college and told him he was too tall
Luke Cage’s cellmate
Endless super villain bar fights
He was Stephen Strange’s guide in the Himalayas
Started a drinking contest at Tony Stark’s 21st birthday party
Got knocked out by Battlin’ Jack Murdock
Secret missions with every Marvel character with any ties to any country’s military or intelligence agency
Steamy sexual tension with everyone’s grandma
Served with everyone’s grandpa in WWII. Young Wolverine was as prolific with military service as modern Wolverine is with super teams.

“On a related note, for a while I honestly assumed that the premise of the Wolverine Origins series was to retell the origins of everybody in the Marvel Universe, only this time showing how Wolverine was responsible for all of them happening at all.”

73% of Marvel’s characters are in fact Logan’s illegitimate children/grandkids/great-grands.

You heard it here first.

When Marvel does it’s Bible comic book adaptation they will likely show how Eve cheated on Adam with Wolverine.

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